Television

Content a 'Game of Thrones'; AT&T's control over HBO, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros faces regulatory lens

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/10/24/GAMEOFTHRONES-800x800_0.jpg?itok=exseFaZi

MUMBAI: The global media landscape is resulting in a new juggernaut as an internet and cable behemoth yesterday purchased an entertainment conglomerate making the former unmatched in its size and reach to consumers through home broadband, smartphones, satellite television and a battery of movies and cable channels. This deal could lead to more cautionary flags than Comcast’s merger with NBCUniversal in 2009.

The US$ 108.7-billion AT&T, Time Warner merger has been met with suspicion as analysts raised antitrust concerns that it would create unfair pricing and lead to further media consolidation. The
cash-and-stock deal values Time Warner – with CNN, HBO, and Warner Bros Studios – at over $85 billion, and involves AT&T taking on its debt.

AT&T, over a year ago, became the nation’s largest pay-TV operator when it acquired DirecTV. Now, Time Warner would give AT&T HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros., Hollywood’s biggest television and film studio. The massive deal has become a subject of discussion in the US presidential campaign. Donald J. Trump, condemning the deal, said he would block it if he were the president, “because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Hillary Clinton has assured to be tough on consolidation and corporate megapowers.

Although the latest merger is considered “vertical integration” as the two broadly do not compete against each other as compared to other “horizontal integration” of similar businesses, regulators could look at other ways AT&T might affect the media ecosystem if the deal were to consummate.

AT&T may possibly make it more expensive for its competitors to gain access to HBO or Time Warner’s content or give preferential treatment to its own programming.

A brief history of media/telecom deals

1995
Turner Broadcasting System and Time Warner announced a $7.5-billion merger, bringing together brands including Warner Brothers, CNN, Time magazine, and the Cartoon Network.

2000
AOL announced its plan to buy Time Warner for over $160 billion.

2005
SBC Corporation acquired AT&T for over $16 billion.

2008
Time Warner spins off its cable unit, which becomes Time Warner Cable (not a part of the current deal).

2009
Time Warner spins off AOL.

2011
Comcast receives regulatory nod for its $30-billion bid to buy a majority stake in NBCUniversal. Comcast took over NBCUniversalm completely in 2013, as GE divested its stake.

2013
Time Warner spins off its Time Inc magazine division.

2014
Verizon buys out Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, gaining complete ownership. Time Warner turns down $ 80-billion bid from Twenty-First Century Fox.

2015
Comcast drops its $45-billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable after the regulator opposes the merger over concerns of creating an Internet provider and a cable operator with too much control. Verizon purchases for $4.4 billion. AT&T gets government nod to purchase the satellite TV company DirecTV creating one of the largest pay-TV servicen providers to compete with Comcast.

2016

Regulators approved US$ 88-billion merger of Charter Communications with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, creating the third-largest video provider and the second-largest broadband
provider. (Comcast purchased DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion to compete against Disney.) Time Warner bought a 10 per cent stake in Hulu for $583 million.

Yahoo and Verizon announced a $4.8-billion merger that would give the latter ownership of the former's Internet assets. AT&T acquires Time Warner.

Regulators could seek promises from AT&T and Time Warner to make content from HBO like “Game of Thrones” or cable networks like CNN available through apps or through streaming, not withholding them from competitors, which could be addressed in conditions attached to an approval.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/zeel.jpg?itok=NPI2s0YG
ZEE and Helo App crafts in partnership

MUMBAI: Delivering on its promise of meeting brand objectives by  providing solutions with exceptional incremental value to its clients through a platform agnostic approach, the Content & Partnerships vertical of Zee Entertainment Enterprises  Ltd (ZEEL) has taken brand solutions to newer...

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/eros.jpg?itok=jtFJVsw5
Eros Now announces collaboration with YouTube Music

MUMBAI: Eros Now, a premier South Asian OTT entertainment platform with more than 177 million registered users, today announced a collaboration with YouTube Music in India to introduce a special subscription package at INR 99 for 90 days for new users of YouTube Music Premium subscription. The...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/tv18.jpg?itok=5dv8ymSB
FYI TV18 reveals the secrets and stories behind the ‘Recipes That Made Me’

MUMBAI: FYI TV18 presents a series dedicated to the legacy of food and the power it holds in all our lives. ‘Recipes That Made Me’ has UK-based Chef and Restauranteur Nisha Katona travelling around the UK, meeting diaspora from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. She meets passionate home...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/netwrok18.jpg?itok=5r_a2mte
Network18 announces senior elevations in News18.com

MUMBAI: The general news vertical has been one of the strongest parts of the Network18 portfolio over the past year. In its best efforts to leverage the opportunities the scale affords, Network18 has announced key elevations in the leadership team of News18.com, its breaking news platform. Azim...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/Joy-Chakraborthy.jpg?itok=9ifoDVor
Bhojpuri market is a priority for all FMCG brands: Enterr10's Joy Chakraborthy

Bhojpuri content has been giving a tough time to its Hindi counterparts if one goes by weekly Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) data. In week 45, as in several others, the channel was leading with 63910 weekly impressions (000s).

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/NOVA-Cinemaz.jpg?itok=Cul8MhDQ
"OTT, TV and cinema complement each other": UFO Moviez' CEO Rajesh Mishra

The movie-exhibition business in India is stuck in contradictions. On the one hand, the country produces the highest number of movies in the world, on the other, its screen-density remains one of the lowest. Various state governments provide subsidies to promote shooting in their states, yet GST...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/19/Star-Jalsha.jpg?itok=G_F3-aZu
Star Jalsha launches Start Music-new music game show

Star Jalsha is all set to premiere its new music game show- Start Music on weekend from 24th November onwards every Sunday. The 18-episode series is produced by Double Half Productions who have successfully partnered Star Jalsha in producing Mahalaya and other shows.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/18/disney.jpg?itok=N9YL6kBF
Disney's Frozen 2 collaborates with 67 brands

MUMBAI: Disney’s Frozen 2, the sequel to one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, is around the corner and the excitement amongst fans and brands is big. Disney’s consumer products business in India has collaborated with 67 brands across categories to bring alive the magic of...

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/18/khandani.jpg?itok=siwz8VBm
Sony MAX to premiere Khandaani Shafakhana on Nov 22

MUMBAI: Sony MAX presents ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ as its World Television Premiere this November. The film starring Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Sharma and popular singer Badshah will help break the taboo around the topic of fertility clinics in small town India. The film will premiere on 22nd November...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories